The Next J. K. Rowling?

A world-wide bidding war is going on for the rights to Australian writer Rebecca James debut novel.  The novel is entitled Beautiful Malice. It’s a psychological thriller for teenagers upward and has become a publishing phenomenom.

C&W, a leading literary agency, took Beautiful Malice to the Frankfurt Book Fair last week and was struggling to keep up with offers from publishers that had received the manuscript.

Dalya Alberge of The Wall Street Journal reported that C&W agents have yet to meet Ms. James, yet the novel is set to be translated into at least 30 languages.  C&W expects a series of similar “sexy, psychological thrillers” from the author.

Bantam USA was so determined to acquire the rights, it bid up to $600,000 for two books.  Ms. James second book is titled Cooper Bartholomew Is Dead.  Nothing more is known at this time about that book.

In Germany the rights were snapped up by Rowohlt Verlag for €252,000.  There were similarly high figures in other countries such as Italy, the Netherlands and Brazil. Beautiful Malice has gone to Faber & Faber in the U.K. and to Allen & Unwin in Australia for an undisclosed five figures. All the hype about the new Austrailian author prompted a Romanian publisher to make a blind offer — without reading the manuscript.

Dalya Alberge quoted Julia Heydon-Wells, publishing direct for Faber as saying, “It kept me riveted in a way that no book has done for years.”

The Booklover has already added this one to her “to-read” list!  Leave a comment and let me know your thoughts….

A Ghost Story for the Season


The Booklover’s Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

I first learned of Audrey Niffenegger’s new book Her Fearful Symmetry during a radio broadcast (  I hadn’t read her first book The Time Traveller’s Wife, but this one intrigued me.  The book is a ghost story and would be a perfect read for this season!

One of the main characters, Elspeth, dies in the very first sentence of the book.  That alone will get your interest.  Then we are introduced to her twin nieces, Julia and Valentina.  The twins and all other characters in the book are truly complex and likeable.

The best part of the book are the descriptions of Highgate Cemetary.  If I should ever go to London, I intend to put Highgate on my intinerary.

Have you read any of Audrey Niffenegger’s books?  Do you plan to read Her Fearful Symmetry?  Leave a comment and let us know your thoughts.

Book Details: Published by Scribner (September 29, 2009), 416 pages, ISBN-10: 1439165394, ISBN-13: 978-1439165393

Book Review: Songs for the Missing

imagesThe Booklover’s Rating:  ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

I wasn’t sure whether to read Songs for the Missing by Stewart O’Nan.  It just seemed not to be my usual type, but I have been known to step outside my usual literature and like what I have read.  Such was the case with Songs for the Missing.  This was an excellent book.

Kim Larsen is an 18 year-old resident of Kingsville, Ohio.  Like most 18 year-olds, she has just finished high school is getting ready to leave Kingsville for college.  She disappears on her way to work one afternoon, but not until the next morning do her parents, Ed and Fran, and 15-year-old sister, Lindsay, realize Kim is missing.  What follows is in no way happy.  You learn what happens through shifting points of view, mostly that of her family and friends.  Mr. O’Nan does an excellent job, because you begin to wonder just as the characters in the book, will we ever know what happened?

This book will appeal to those who love a good mystery, chick-lit fans, lovers of literature, etc.  I highly recommend this book!

Have you read Songs for the Missing?  If so, leave a comment and let others know what you think…

Book Details: Published by Viking Adult (October 30, 2008), 320 pages, ISBN-10: 067002032X, ISBN-13: 978-0670020324

Meat That Tastes Like Dessert


Yesterday evening, I watched Matt Lauer’s interview with Dan Brown, author of The Lost Symbol, Angels and Demons, and The DaVinci Code.  The interview was interesting, and at the same time disappointing.  The interview just seemed to skim the surface of the many subjects Dan Brown raises.  The interview was not “meat that tastes like dessert,” although I would have to agree with Mr. Brown that his books are definitely that!

I highly recommend Dan Brown’s most recent novel, The Lost Symbol.  There have been some negative interviews posted on the Internet, but I throughly liked the book and would give it five hearts (♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥). 

Although you can read The Lost Symbol alone if you have not read any of Mr. Brown’s books, I would recommend reading the three novels mentioned in this post in orderor watch the movies for the first two and then read The Lost Symbol.  I rarely make a suggestion to watch the movies, but these two directed by Ron Howard were quite well done.

Have you read The Lost Symbol? Did you love it or hate?  Was it just okay?  Let me know what you think by leaving a comment!

Man Booker Prize

WolfHallWhile I was on vacation last week, the 2009 Man Booker Prize for Fiction was announced.  This year’s winner was Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel.  I immediately added this book to my Goodreads “to-read” list.

Wolf Hall is set in the 1520’s and chronicles Thomas Cromwell’s rise to power in the Tudor court. 

Congratulations to Hillary Mantel on her win! 

Have you read Wolf Hall?  If so, please leave a comment here and let us know what you think.  Have you read any of the Man Booker prize winners?  Leave a comment and let us know which one and what you think of it!

For more information on the Man Booker Prize for Fiction and past winners, visit:

Beauregard the Library Cat

BearegardBeauregard the Library Cat is the newest member of the H. B. Stamps Library Staff.  The H. B. Stamps Library is located in Hawkins County, TN.

The Hawkins County Library Website reports that Beauregard has been very helpful in making sure the chairs are being used.  He likes to be around people and does not mind occasional petting.  The librarians only ask that you not pick him up (mostly for his safety).

Let’s hope that other libraries follow this example and adopt a homeless cat!